Amtrak Train Crashes In Philly

Yeah I was just reading that and was considering posting. It'll be under intense scrutiny since the city is already up in arms over the CSX oil train derailment on the Gray's Ferry Bridge last year.

Edit: Based on what I can tell from the news, this happened right at a sharp curve where the NEC makes about a 70-degree turn in a few city blocks, next to Frankford Yard.
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Meh. Typical CSX.

And the train was being pulled by one of the new ACS-64 locomotives.
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ACS-64 # 601. Appears to hit a train. 601 is off the tracks sitting upright with significant damage to its front end. One car telescoped a catenary support pole and others were banged up pretty bad
There was a bad wreck in 1943 at the same place at Frankford Junction. Let's hope this one isn't a repeat.
This morning, there are people under one of the cars they need to get to. Only time the NEC makes the news in Philly comes during tragedy.
There was no collision between A CSX train and the Amtrak train, which was Regional 188. Current speculation is that the train was speeding going into the curve which is rated at 60MPH.
Aggregated from multipul sources:
At the time of writing this, it appears that the train took the corner way to fast. Early speculative reports are claiming 100+mph (106 to be exact) in a 50mph zone.

Death toll is 6 as of 9:22am.

CSX has confirmed that there is no evidence to show a crash with a freight train. Freight trains in the pictures are in the CR yard there. Tankers are non-hazardous 'chemicals.'

FBI does not believe it to be terrorism at this time. Are on scene however.

Next major update expected around 11-11:30am.

NEC is closed for that area, NJT is accepting Amtrak tickets to Trenton. Other Amtrak services, PHL south and NYP north are still running.
12:00pm Update:

NEC expected to be closed in that area for the rest of the week. Mayor Michael Nutter: "There's no circumstance under which there would be any Amtrak service this week through Philadelphia."

NY Times article as some good pictures & illustrations:

President Barack Obama says the derailment of Amtrak Train 188 "is a tragedy that touches us all."

These images are from the AP, Click for larger:

Thanks for the photos PerRock. It appears from the first image that the rightmost track gave way under the weight of the train. Not completely sure what track the train was travelling on, though. I guess either the track let loose (infrastructure problem) or the train was speeding (engineer problem). Of course if the engineer was speeding, than something would have to have been wrong with the new engine that the safety features didn't kick in to slow down or stop the train.

Has anyone heard anything about the engineer or conductor? It seems odd that no one has mentioned anything about them, even if they are deceased.
Updates from AP:

AP confirms 7 dead (as of 1:35pm) body was found at scene (not at hospital). The dead include an AP Video Software Architect , and a USN Academy midshipman. AP staffer's name released, USN not released.

The track was inspected by Amtrak on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 hours before incident. No defects identified.

An AP manager (I'm with holding names) was watching Netflix on his laptop at the time, presumably using up the precious wifi on board. *shakes fist*

The first car is described as being "a pile of metal." By AP manager

The Black Box has been removed from ACS-64 #601 and is being reviewed by NTSB & Amtrak.

Press confrence by NTSB & Amtrak to be held at 5pm.

"The mayor (Nutter) said the engineer of the train “was injured to some extent” but has spoken to the Philadelphia police about what happened." That's from in the article referenced above and that's what I heard also. So far I haven't heard that any of the 5 person crew are among the 7 confirmed fatalities. As of 1:30pm they were still searching for possible missing persons. Many were able to walk away from the accident and the tally of those admitted to several local hospitals and those who checked in with rescuers at the scene doesn't match the total on the Amtrak supplied passenger lists. Amtrak says 238 passengers and 5 crew members but total number actually accounted for hasn't been mentioned in any reports yet. I'm guessing they're not 100% sure that all 238 were on board leaving 30th street in Phila.

They're analyzing data recordings and video recovered from the scene so we'll probably hear preliminary assessment of the cause before too long.

Bob Pearson
Update as of 11:25 AM PST

Via BBC News, London

"The train recorder has been found and the information, including train speed, video of the accident, and the engineers steering attempts, is being downloaded. More than 240 people were on board Train 188, officials said.

NTSB representative Robert Sumwalt says that recorder will be "key to the investigation".

The train conductor was also injured in the crash, and is giving a statement to city police, says Mayor Nutter.

The train's engineer declined to give a statement to police and left the detectives'' office with a an attorney, the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper reports."

I was traveling on a northbound Keystone about a month ago (Philadelphia - Trenton), cab car leading with 601 pushing
From what I was told by someone else, it appears that speed was involved... That stretch goes from 70 to 50 and perhaps the engineer didn't slow down enough. This sound similar to the MN crash two years go December.

Well we won't know what actually happened to quite some time. Although we can expect an official preliminary report in a few hours (5p.m. eastern). The AP maths have come up with 107mph moments before the crash from surveillance footage found. The footage (I've watched it now) shows the train passing and then a few seconds later bright flashes of light.

The big question now is more likely: Engineer error, Technical fault? There is a chance that the ACS-64 was reporting a lower speed on it's digital speedometer then it was actually going.

With some insider knowledge I have, it's unlikely that the engineer did it on purpose.

Just as any vehicular homicide case, the engineer could face decades in prison if it was a speeding violation, even unintentional, would result in 7 counts of involuntary manslaughter, and if more of the critically injured die in the hospital, the court case would most likely result in life in prison.